A misdemeanor court in the south-central city on Thursday approved the parole of the former extreme-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) founder and leader Nikos Michaloliakos, who was serving a more than 13-year prison sentence for his role in the party, which an appellate-level decision deemed a criminal organization.

The judicial decision, opposed by the prosecutor, allowed the release of 66-year-old Michaloliakos subject to restrictive measures, including a ban from leaving the greater Athens-Piraeus region, appearing at a local police station (in northern Athens) once a month, and avoiding contact with one-time party associates and co-defendants and in the specific criminal case.

The prosecutor recommended that Michaloliakos remain incarcerated, citing his conviction as a leading figure in the criminal organization and insufficient requirements for his release, although the former Golden Dawn leader met legal requirements for release.

The prosecutor argued that Michaloliakos had showed no remorse for his actions by citing extensive writings, where the former Golden Dawn leader appeared unrepentant and claimed to be a victim of political persecution and conspiracy.

In contrast, after reviewing the application, justices noted that any doubts regarding the applicant’s fulfillment of substantive conditions for release should work in his favor. It evaluated his conduct positively, dismissed the writings as evidence of committing new unlawful acts, accepted the application and ordered his conditional release.

The prosecutor has the right to appeal against the court ruling granting conditional release, which can be examined ex officio by other more senior judicial officials.

In October 2020, Michaloliakos and 67 other Golden Dawn cadres were found guilty of leading a criminal organization by an Athens Appeals Court.